I was unsure whether I should write a “Comiket 87 trip experiences”-entry, but in the end I decided to write now. My friend Lena K. has also written an entry about C87, so make sure to check out hers, too!
To begin with, some people may know that I was in Tokyo during Comic Market 87 (28th-30th December 2014), and it also was the highlight of my Tokyo-trip.
Comic Market (コミックマーケット, short form is Comiket) is the world’s biggest doujin(shi) convention where the artists sell their (newest) fan-made doujinshis, music albums, goods and more stuff. There’s also an extra hall for commercial studios, firms etc (e.g. Type-moon, Visual Art’s…) which are always visited well.
The halls were opened from 10 am to 4/5 pm and there are four halls, two east halls and two west halls. Cosplayers had an own area outside.
I first have to say that I really made unforgettable memories and every Touhou/Manga/Anime-fan should have been there once in your life because you have to experience and feel it, not only read about Comiket.
Some details beforehand, we were three people, day one was mainly about Anime/Manga/Commercial, day two about Touhou/KanColle and day three about original works/NSFW and gladly we made many maps/plans about which booths we wanted to visit.
About us three: Yuri-fans and two of us are also Touhou/KanColle-fans. We had around 50 circles (I’m not sure… :P at least our webcatalog says so) we wanted to take a look at, but of course we haven’t bought from every circle.
On the first day we decided to come a little later because this day wasn’t so important. We only had 5-6 booths we wanted to visit and Lena was the only one who bought anything.
So we took the train (which was already so crowded) and the train station was already full of Anime-posters ;) We took our way to the main entry which was a good decision as we later got to know because we didn’t have to walk much, plus the crowd in front of us was always on the move.
We entered the main hall a bit later than 11am and went directly to the west hall. It wasn’t so crowded (against our expectations) and only one thing that Lena wanted was sold out.
CITRON’s booth however was visited very well, so we had to join the end of the queue (which was outside the hall) and had to wait around 10-15 minutes.
You can see what we got from the first day here.
After we visited every booth we wanted to see, we had a bit of free time, so we looked around a bit. The way to the west halls 3 and 4 was a bit complicated as the escalators weren’t for us commoners (you needed to be a VIP…). We had to go outside and made a detour. When we finally arrived at west hall 3, we noticed how crowded it was, compared to the other halls.
Our friend asked a staff member at Visual Art’s booth about where you could buy a certain CD, but the answer was that you had to line up outside and wait for around three hours…too long, so we decided to leave.
The west halls 3 and 4 were also very noisy and loud, every booth wanted to drown each other (which is a common thing in Japan!).
At the end of Comiket day one we went out to take a rest, looked at Cosplayers when we left and then we went to Shibuya ;)
We already knew that day two would be harder and busier, so we took the train at 8 o’clock. Later we realized that it was a bad decision (reasons will follow here). This day was the only day it rained during our Tokyo-trip, and it rained heavily…
We arrived at 9 o’clock, one hour till the doors for the halls will be open, was what we have thought…Somehow we wanted to go to the east hall first, so we followed a route which was quite a detour. When we arrived at a gate, we realized that we went the wrong way. This gate was for circles (also known as Circle-gate…), so we asked a staff member about the right way.
Lights and streets had to be crossed, it rained and it was cold. Finally we arrived at the backyard of the east hall, but the queue…well, was very long. Everything we did was waiting in the cold and rain with our umbrellas, Lena looked like a zombie back then (sorry :P) and I talked to Marcel (the third person of our little group) and observed the people around us ;). We had to wait for around 35 minutes from 10am on until people began to move, but we had to wait/walk for another 10-15 minutes till we finally arrived at the east hall’s entry. In the end we waited almost 2 hours.
We went straight to ENS because we thought that this booth would have a very long queue, but it gladly hadn’t. At least we got to see Anna and Tsubaki (Tsubaki gave me the CD!), Tracy and probably Kokuchou and Kirin (he wore a face mask…!). I couldn’t recognize the other people there, but next to ENS/Amateras/Alstroemeria Records were Halozy and DiGiTAL WiNG.
Lena went to Halozy, I went to DW and had to wait outside (!!!). After that we visited Pizuya’s Cell, Sally, ZYTOKINE, Rolling Contact, signum/ii, Lila’c and many more! The best thing was that we could see the members in real life ;) I also got a signature by Irus :) However, the worst thing was that I had to line up for 45 minutes at Yuuhei’s booth :(
See here if you’re curious about what we got at day two:
Third day, *grin*, the train was more crowded than on the first day ;) We all knew why the train was full of men…anyways, we took the train one hour later than on the second day and arrived at around 10:30 in front of the main entry. Still, we had to line up and wait in little queues.
West hall 1 and 2 were the first halls we arrived at, but had to realize soon that the queue for Ooshima Tomo/Towa was already very long. We splitted up and while Lena lined up, we checked up the situation at east hall.
Not really a great idea because the west and east halls are quite far away from each other if you take the route outside. Rather take the route inside the halls if possible, but there’s just one route from west to east…
We were a bit surprised about the fact that many 18+ boothes were sold out after a few time, but that’s just Japan.
At the end of the day, we went up to hall 3 & 4 were we first had to cross the Cosplay area. Finally, we even made an interview with two Japanese people about why we visited Comiket, how the situation is overseas and such.
All in all the three days were the best, even if the second and third day were very tiring. Sometimes it was really warm, even if it’s winter. I can’t imagine how the heat must be during Summer Comiket, so I’m glad we chose the right Comiket to visit. It’s also even funnier if you’re in a group. I personally had a lot of fun! Thank you Lena and Marcel for keeping me company, without you I’d already be lost ;)
I probably won’t be able to visit Winter Comiket another time due to personal reasons (the date is between Christmas and New Year), but I’d be glad if I ever may be able to visit a convention in Japan again (e.g. Reitaisai, Kouroumu, (Summer) Comiket, M3), hopefully not alone.
Some pieces of advice at the end for people who want to attend Comiket in the future:
-You may take the early train to Tokyo Big Sight, but follow the route to the main entry. If you have to choose between east and west hall, choose west.
-Take much to drink, pain killer in cases of stomachache (I had eaten a sandwich with egg: bad decision)
-You should take food, your mp3-player or other entertainment stuff with you while waiting
-Look up the circles you want to visit, make an account for the webcatalog’s site if you don’t wanna spend 2500 Yen for a huge Comiket catalog (we survived without one), but you have to print out the locations of the booths
-Get an overview of the halls and decide which circles you have to visit and which ones are optional, many things are sold out if you come too late
-Look up the weather forecast and take umbrellas along with you by cases of rain
-Dress up warm enough for outside, but inside it’s sometimes pretty hot
-Split up if you are in a group, but don’t go too far away from each other
-boothes that are located in the middle are less visited than boothes at the edge (because you can line up for boothes at the edge outside the halls)
-the west halls 3 and 4 are very well visited. I’d discourage from lining up there.
Boothes we had to line up for more than 5 minutes:
-CITRON (10-15 minutes)
-DiGiTAL WiNG (around 10-15 minutes)
-Pizuya’s Cell (around 5-10 minutes)
-Yuuhei Satellite (~45 minutes)
-Sweet Pea/Cocoa Break (~30 minutes)
-(TAMUSIC: I didn’t line up because the queue was too long for me)